April 16, 2014 13:18
Top Korean badminton players Lee Yong-dae and Kim Ki-jung will be able to compete after all in the Incheon 2014 Asian Games in September this year.
Shin Geh-ryuen, head of the Badminton Korea Association, told reporters the Badminton World Federation in a meeting on Monday reversed a decision to suspend Lee and Kim for one year for violating international anti-doping procedures.
The BWF suspended Lee and Kim in January after they failed to update their whereabouts and missed three spot checks by doping investigators from the World Anti-Doping Agency last year.
But it repealed the decision after it emerged that the fault lay with the association, not the players.
"The committee decided to erase all the records of violations by Lee and Kim in 2013. They are now able to freely train and participate in international competitions," Shin said.
Lee was also reinstated as a member of the BWF Athletes' Commission. However, the BWF imposed a fine of US$ 41,170 on the BKA for the administrative sloppiness.
With the advice from Korea's largest law firm Kim & Chang, the BKA appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and requested a review of the decision by the BWF. The BKA highlighted the fact that the players were unable to communicate sufficiently in English and admitted administrative errors in failing to update the players' whereabouts.
WADA can still appeal the decision but is unlikely to do so.
Jeffrey Jones, an attorney with Kim & Chang, said the BWF also consulted with WADA before making the decision. Even if WADA decides to appeal and open a new case, it will not have an impact on Lee and Kim competing in the Asian Games.
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